The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating a string of five armed robberies at taco trucks within a week‘s span.
No arrests have been made in the robberies, which police said may be connected. In addition, a shooting at a taco truck injured two men early Monday morning. Police did not clarify if the robberies targeted the taco truck operators or their customers.
Police said the first robbery happened on May 28 around 12:25 a.m. on Central Avenue and East 101st Street.
Then, the same suspects carried out two more robberies on Friday, police said. Those robberies took place within five minutes of each other: one on East 103rd Street and Compton Avenue and the other on East 92nd Street and Central Avenue, according to police.
A different group of two or three suspects, armed with handguns, robbed two more taco trucks on the evening of May 28, within a mile of the first robbery earlier that day.
The men. described as being in their 20s or 30s held up a taco truck at Century Boulevard and San Pedro Street in Green Meadows around 11 p.m., according to police. Suspects who fit the same description then robbed another truck, at 103rd Street and Avalon just a few blocks away, police said.
In the second robbery, at Tacos Los Chemas, two suspects wearing hoodies jammed a gun into one victim’s neck and pistol-whipped another, according to video obtained by KTLA-TV
The suspects fled both robberies in a white car, police said.
In all five robberies, the suspects made off with undisclosed amounts of cash, police said.
The shooting took place Monday morning around 12:20 a.m. in the 1800 block of West Manchester Avenue. The two victims were hospitalized after being struck by gunfire and were stable, police said.
The circumstances and motive for the shooting were unclear, police said.
Rudy Espinoza, executive director of the advocacy group Inclusive Action for the City, said that food trucks may be easier targets for robbers than brick-and-mortar establishments.
“There’s informality with what they’re doing and it exposes them to people mistreating them,” said Espinoza. “Food trucks and street vendors operate in the open-air economy in this gray informal space, and I think historically our city hasn’t welcomed or taken care of these entrepreneurs.”